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I have a question that I'm presenting to you:



If you go to this video, you'll see lots of Evangelical Christians converting to Orthodoxy. Within the video, they explain that they were compelled to become Orthodox because they discovered that this was the early Church, from the apostles.

That's all good.. but why exclude Catholicism?? This is ALSO an Apostolic Church??

That bothers me.

I'm glad they discovered the importance of the Eucharist (FINALLY!) - and they see its part of our raison d'être, but why leave out being Catholic.

Hence - the title of my thread: We really need Ecumenical Unity more than ever. I would say the 1st step is that we have to recognise that we are BOTH from Apostolic Churches. We can't go around saying my church is better than yours. This is destructive.

Now, my Church IS better than yours - so how can we make yours good? lol (THAT WAS A JOKE!) - if you laughed, then you've gotten to know me.

Fear not - my Church is far from perfect. My suggestion is that the Catholic Church really ought to embrace , as its entire identity, the Byzantine Rite. Everyone else (Charismatic Catholics, Party-During-Liturgy Catholics etc) - they should be excommunicated from your Church.

If the EO, Catholics, OO were ALL to admit that each of us originated from the Apostles, the early Church; that statement of truth would bring back many evangelicals. They are lost. They WANT to go back to the way things were.

Regardless, why weren't these deacons interested in the Catholic church? That's very surprising.
Thanos,

Since you are in Europe, you may be unaware that many more evangelicals have become Roman Catholic than Orthodox in the English speaking world. It does not make the same kind of news as that to which you refer because they are merely changing from one form of Western Christianity to another. For many it resolves issues of authority, doctrine and spirituality which can exist in more of a vacuum in Protestantism.

Speaking as one who is canonically Greek Catholic, spent most of my religious observance in Roman Catholic circles and who now attends Orthodox services, I can see the attraction Orthodoxy has for evangelicals. There is a more immediate link to the early Church because the East had fewer outside influences to deviate her away from its ancient flavour, (i.e. feudalism, the Reformation, liberal democracy, the development of science). Rome with each challenge underwent accretion on top of accretion with each challenge met - were it not for a Magisterium she would be lost. So as one who seriously leans towards Orthodoxy, I believe that at heart she is really Orthodox, just that her popular expression lost the thread of things, as it were.

Shouldn't we be cautious about who determines who is and who is not Catholic, short of legitimate authority. That is dangerous ground to stand on. As Christ said to Peter in John XXI, "...what is that to you, you follow Me." The Orthodox have problems too, and evangelicals who convert can be an argumentative bunch. We all always have need of repentance. One thing, however, one can learn from the East is more docility to the Holy Spirit.
I can't help but feel that there is a real latent anti-Catholicism there in some of these folks. Remember, Evangelicalism is a broad name that includes people like John MacArthur, Gary North, etc.

If any of these Evangelicals find the Apostolic Church attractive, besides snowing in hell, I would bet that they will gravitate to the Orthodox Church.
The Protestants I know who converted to Orthodoxy instead of Catholicism seem to have made the move because of the impoverished liturgy and theology of the modern Roman Church. They found Orthodoxy to be more complete and spiritually fulfilling. As a former Lutheran I know explained to me a few years ago, "Why would I want to go to a Catholic parish where the liturgy is not celebrated as well as it was in the Lutheran community I used to attend?"
Originally Posted by Irish_Ruthenian
I can't help but feel that there is a real latent anti-Catholicism there in some of these folks. Remember, Evangelicalism is a broad name that includes people like John MacArthur, Gary North, etc.

If any of these Evangelicals find the Apostolic Church attractive, besides snowing in hell, I would bet that they will gravitate to the Orthodox Church.
Hmmm? You make a mention of "anti-Catholicism"....and then you make what seems to be a rather anti-Orthodox Statement. As already mentioned....the Holy Orthodox Church has a Liturgy and theology that has not been impoverished. And I could name about three dozen other factors that might attract an Evangelical Christian to the Holy Orthodox Church. wink
Originally Posted by Recluse
Originally Posted by Irish_Ruthenian
I can't help but feel that there is a real latent anti-Catholicism there in some of these folks. Remember, Evangelicalism is a broad name that includes people like John MacArthur, Gary North, etc.

If any of these Evangelicals find the Apostolic Church attractive, besides snowing in hell, I would bet that they will gravitate to the Orthodox Church.
Hmmm? You make a mention of "anti-Catholicism"....and then you make what seems to be a rather anti-Orthodox Statement. As already mentioned....the Holy Orthodox Church has a Liturgy and theology that has not been impoverished. And I could name about three dozen other factors that might attract an Evangelical Christian to the Holy Orthodox Church. wink

I'm sorry. It was not meant to be an "anti-Orthodox" statement. I was just trying to say that for many Evangelicals, the animus against the Roman Catholic Church is so deep that they will pick the Apostolic Faith of the East rather than the West. It's a very hard bias to overcome.
Originally Posted by Irish_Ruthenian
I was just trying to say that for many Evangelicals, the animus against the Roman Catholic Church is so deep that they will pick the Apostolic Faith of the East rather than the West. It's a very hard bias to overcome.

Really? Perhaps this is primarily in cyberspace? I know many Evangelicals who converted to Holy Orthodoxy and did not bring any type of bias or vitriol with them. There is much in common theologically between the Orthodox Church and the Latin/Eastern Catholics: Praying for the dead, Veneration of the most Holy Theotokos and the saints, the Real Presence of Christ in the holy Eucharist, the Mysteries of the Church, Holy Tradition, etc., etc......

I would think that those who might have an axe to grind with Catholicism....might grind the same axe with Holy Orthodoxy.
Originally Posted by Recluse
Originally Posted by Irish_Ruthenian
I was just trying to say that for many Evangelicals, the animus against the Roman Catholic Church is so deep that they will pick the Apostolic Faith of the East rather than the West. It's a very hard bias to overcome.

Really? Perhaps this is primarily in cyberspace? I know many Evangelicals who converted to Holy Orthodoxy and did not bring any type of bias or vitriol with them. There is much in common theologically between the Orthodox Church and the Latin/Eastern Catholics: Praying for the dead, Veneration of the most Holy Theotokos and the saints, the Real Presence of Christ in the holy Eucharist, the Mysteries of the Church, Holy Tradition, etc., etc......

I would think that those who might have an axe to grind with Catholicism....might grind the same axe with Holy Orthodoxy.

Think Frankie Schaeffer. That kind of Evangelical.
Originally Posted by Irish_Ruthenian
Think Frankie Schaeffer. That kind of Evangelical.

"Frankie," as you so affectionately call him, can tend to ruffle feathers....on both sides of the aisle.

You are basing your premise on Frank Schaeffer?
Originally Posted by Recluse
Originally Posted by Irish_Ruthenian
Think Frankie Schaeffer. That kind of Evangelical.

"Frankie," as you so affectionately call him, can tend to ruffle feathers....on both sides of the aisle.

You are basing your premise on Frank Schaeffer?

"Frankie" is the name that he used as a Presbyterian. Don't get snippy with me until you've been in the PCA like I was.

As for the other -- no, it's not. I've met some others who were equally dismissive of Rome. Some who, in fact, when we started acting like Rome in our Liturgical Praxis, left the Byzantine parish they were attending in utter disgust and are now happily OCA.

I've also read a few such diatribes on the Internet.

Granted, not all Orthodox are of such a mind, but it would do well do realize that there are those out there who have a suspicious regard of the Roman Church, especially after what it did to the Byzantines in America for about 50 years!!!
Originally Posted by Irish_Ruthenian
"Frankie" is the name that he used as a Presbyterian.
Does he still go by "Frankie?"

Originally Posted by Irish_Ruthenian
Don't get snippy with me until you've been in the PCA like I was.
I do not need to be in the PCA to have an understanding of their theology...I have studied it a bit.

Originally Posted by Irish_Ruthenian
I've met some others who were equally dismissive of Rome.
Well...yes...of course.....you can find millions of people who are dismissive of Rome. But it is unfair for you to paint with a broad stroke, those Evangelicals who chose Holy Orthodoxy over Rome.

Originally Posted by Irish_Ruthenian
Some who, in fact, when we started acting like Rome in our Liturgical Praxis, left the Byzantine parish they were attending in utter disgust and are now happily OCA.
I left the Byzantine Catholic Church over my eventual disagreement with doctrine (filioque, papal infallibility, etc). The final straw was the gender neutered Liturgical reform. But I am not anti-Catholic. If I said that protestants who convert to the Catholic Church (like yourself) are very quick to pull the "anti-Catholic" card.....I would be painting with broad strokes.

Originally Posted by Irish_Ruthenian
I've also read a few such diatribes on the Internet.
The internet is full of diatribes, my friend.

Originally Posted by Irish_Ruthenian
Granted, not all Orthodox are of such a mind, but it would do well do realize that there are those out there who have a suspicious regard of the Roman Church, especially after what it did to the Byzantines in America for about 50 years!!!
One can always find a batch of sour grapes.
Quote
I left the Byzantine Catholic Church over my eventual disagreement with doctrine (filioque, papal infallibility, etc). The final straw was the gender neutered Liturgical reform. But I am not anti-Catholic. If I said that protestants who convert to the Catholic Church (like yourself) are very quick to pull the "anti-Catholic" card.....I would be painting with broad strokes.

You don't happen to live in Pennsylvania by any chance, do you?

It was a very sad day for me to look around and no longer see friends whom I held dear in my heart because they couldn't stomach the issues that you mentioned.

Yes, I do tend to use a Number 12 size brush when making statements. One of my many faults.
Guys,

My point is this: I am REALLY upset that they've become Orthodox for the reason that they've discovered the Apostolic lineage has continued in the Orthodox Church without considering that it has also continued in the Catholic.

It has - I would just say it has continued in the Byzantine Rite.

A lot of people want to feel they are living the Christian life according to what it was like at the beginning.

I agree about the Filoque etc.. these dogmas were added - and subsequently caused more division than what they were worth. I do not subscribe to these dogmas, hence why my faith is Orthodox, yet I am still fond of the Catholic.

You see why I'm saying we need to unite?

Catholics admitting that Orthodox are apostolic, it will help bring protestants BACK to either the Catholic OR the Orthodox. Instead, Catholics are going around saying that the only true Church is theirs. Protestants look at the Catholic Church as some political establishment with a very dubious past just make them more inclined to be protestant.

The Orthodox Churches are apostolic and do not enter / or have ever entered into Politics to be tainted by power (well, at least NOT the Coptic Orthodox!).

Originally Posted by Irish_Ruthenian
Originally Posted by Recluse
Originally Posted by Irish_Ruthenian
I can't help but feel that there is a real latent anti-Catholicism there in some of these folks. Remember, Evangelicalism is a broad name that includes people like John MacArthur, Gary North, etc.

If any of these Evangelicals find the Apostolic Church attractive, besides snowing in hell, I would bet that they will gravitate to the Orthodox Church.
Hmmm? You make a mention of "anti-Catholicism"....and then you make what seems to be a rather anti-Orthodox Statement. As already mentioned....the Holy Orthodox Church has a Liturgy and theology that has not been impoverished. And I could name about three dozen other factors that might attract an Evangelical Christian to the Holy Orthodox Church. wink
I'm sorry. It was not meant to be an "anti-Orthodox" statement. I was just trying to say that for many Evangelicals, the animus against the Roman Catholic Church is so deep that they will pick the Apostolic Faith of the East rather than the West. It's a very hard bias to overcome.
I don't see anything anti-Orthodox in your original post, but I do see an inaccurate and stereotypical statement: "If any of these Evangelicals find the Apostolic Church attractive, besides snowing in hell, I would bet that they will gravitate to the Orthodox Church." I don't know what your personal experience has been like, but there are a lot of Catholics who used to be Evangelical.
Originally Posted by Thanos888
I have a question that I'm presenting to you:



If you go to this video, you'll see lots of Evangelical Christians converting to Orthodoxy. Within the video, they explain that they were compelled to become Orthodox because they discovered that this was the early Church, from the apostles.

That's all good.. but why exclude Catholicism??

Why indeed? frown I haven't seen that particular video, but I know what you mean. I've also seen the reverse attitude -- as a matter of fact, I believe Archbishop Haverland (then a Continuing Anglican archbishop, I don't know whether he still is) actually made a statement like "With regard to unity, all Anglicans should first think of Rome" (I don't recall the exact words). :rolleyes:
Originally Posted by Peter J
Originally Posted by Thanos888
I have a question that I'm presenting to you:



If you go to this video, you'll see lots of Evangelical Christians converting to Orthodoxy. Within the video, they explain that they were compelled to become Orthodox because they discovered that this was the early Church, from the apostles.

That's all good.. but why exclude Catholicism??

Why indeed? frown I haven't seen that particular video, but I know what you mean. I've also seen the reverse attitude -- as a matter of fact, I believe Archbishop Haverland (then a Continuing Anglican archbishop, I don't know whether he still is) actually made a statement like "With regard to unity, all Anglicans should first think of Rome" (I don't recall the exact words). :rolleyes:

The problem is that if they looked to Rome, they may have to look at Rome at a particular angle. If Anglicans happen to see Rome through the Charismatic rite; they may not really feel they are looking at an Apostolic Church.

I REALLY don't think its wise to distinguish between Orthodox & Catholics. The Catholics do themselves a huge disservice by portraying an image that "we are the only Church of God". The Orthodox equally do themselves and the entire Body of Christ great damage by thinking that they are the only ones saved also.

Its wiser to look at "what" salvation is and "how" we are being saved. We are ALL (Orthodox & Catholics) are being saved through the sacraments. Of course, you cannot approach the sacraments when engaging in any mortal sin, so one has to be repentant and yearning to receive this Holy-of-Holies beforehand. Nevertheless, reducing the other denomination as a bunch of heretics is just fruitless.

Whether a person becomes Catholic or Orthodox should be a matter of rejoicing - not sadness ("oh! He's gone to the other side.... ") .

The differences between us don't add to someone's salvation; its the engagement in the sacraments that makes a difference. Anglicans and protestants don't have have these sacraments, so it would be wise to encourage them to be either Catholic or Orthodox.

For example: a muslim guy from Egypt decided to become Christian. He chose the Catholic faith and Pope Benedict baptised him. He was welcomed into the Christian faith by MANY Coptic Orthodox people. We didn't go around saying "well... let's just try and make him Orthodox - because the others are heretics".

I just feel that your charismatic movements do yourselves injustice, and do not show the true Church that you are meant to be in a good light. Your Church fathers formulated the liturgy in a reason, and it wasn't a novel idea, it was based on apostolic traditions that we both (Orthodox & Catholic) are direct descendants of.

Originally Posted by Thanos888
I REALLY don't think its wise to distinguish between Orthodox & Catholics.
What would you suggest instead?
Originally Posted by Peter J
Originally Posted by Thanos888
I REALLY don't think its wise to distinguish between Orthodox & Catholics.
What would you suggest instead?

There are priests (Orthodox & Catholics) - i've met both, who seem to teach that the other church are heretics, and are not saved. We have to move away from this.

I think you are all theologically capable at least to figure out that whether a catholic believes in the filoque or not, it doesn't impact their salvation.

We ought to be focused on salvation of souls, not labels.

Salvation of Souls is through the sacraments : "Whoever eats my body and drinks my blood WILL HAVE ETERNAL LIFE".

It cannot be clearer than that.

I'm suggesting to the Orthodox folk that a protestant becoming Catholic is a far better state than him/her remaining protestant; or not even knowing God.

I'm suggesting to the Catholic folk that a protestant becoming orthodox, is a far better state than him/her remaining protestant.; or not even knowing God.

We share fundamental truths that unite us more than divide us. If we focus on what divides us, we'll lose out on bringing people to Christ.

There's a strong hatred in the Catholic rite against the orthodox faith. I do not understand why this is; but if it continues, if your priests continue to teach their flock that Orthodox are all heretics, then this will lead many people away from God.

There's no point in our Bishops discussing unity if they agree on any formula that unites us, yet we are divided and have not yet received each other in a Christian fellowship.

This has to stop.

I brought someone to the Christian faith. Of course the most obvious place for that person to learn and have fellowship was in the Catholic Church.
After sometime away, they called me to invite me to attend liturgy with the new prayer group they had met. These were latin rite catholics.
It turned out that their priest, the youth, everyone there was telling this person to stay away from me because I was heretical (being Orthodox).

Me? The one that brought that person TO the Catholic Church??!

If you look at this example above, can you see how destructive it is, or how destructive it could be if it happens at a global scale?

And why was I heretical? Because the Bishop of Rome was not my Bishop.

How does that save? How does the successor of St Peter save you?
Is it the successor of St Peter, or St Peter's Church. There's a difference. This makes no sense.

The above example shows how Church servants are more focused on the label of the garment than actually wearing or putting on the garment. This is pure fanatism.
Originally Posted by Thanos888
There are priests (Orthodox & Catholics) - i've met both, who seem to teach that the other church are heretics, and are not saved.

Please let me say that Orthodox priests would never teach that Catholics are not saved.

Likewise I would be certain Catholic priests would never say that Orthodox are not saved.

Not to go off topic but I can't help thinking of Harry, on the Third Rock From the Sun episode where he worked in a video store, describing his sorting system: "[pointing] Good movies ... bad movies ... movies I haven't seen." (I figured you'd get a kick out of that, Thanos. smile )
Amos 3:3 εἰ πορεύσονται δύο ἐπὶ τὸ αὐτὸ καθόλου ἐὰν μὴ γνωρίσωσιν ἑαυτούς - Shall two go together at all lest they make themselves known? (English translation mine)

Notwithstanding any who departed their former heritage to become extreme Fundamentalist, even protesting the Protestants. So, I'm compelled to wear a heretic's mantle being manifoldly dis-fellowshipped.

I simply read the text of the New Testament and concluded my family's tradition isn't what scripture describes. Lots of high church pageantry added from millennia of man-made traditions, but apparently not the Church the Apostle Paul intended. For me it comes down to a matter of conscience before God.

I have come to believe the early Protestants got some things right: Sola Scriptura (Tota scriptura), Sola Gratia, Sola Fide, Solus Christus, Soli Deo Gloria, Justification by faith alone, the Doctrines of Grace, etc. These are actually Pauline doctrines. But today many Protestants have backed away from the Apostle Paul's doctrine. And invariably they've all added layers of man-made traditions too. Some decidedly departing the ground they once held.

Still, I truly appreciate one aspect of the GOC. It was their medieval scribal tradition that preserved the Biblical Greek textform of ancient Apostolic tradition. Even today I prefer the Byzantine Majority Greek New Testament (edited by American Baptists) and the Greek Septuaginta (edited by the German Lutheran, Rahlfs). I use those printed Greek texts for hermeneutical study and derive doctrine from such. Its as close as I can get to the Primitive Pauline Apostolic Church which was notably Chiastic, simplified in polity and praxis, housebound and bypassed entirely in the headlong rush to Constantinople.

Even though I may disagree fundamentally with some and they with me, I think no Christian group is without merit so long as they carry the essential testimony of Christ crucified for our offenses and resurrected for our justification. (Rom.4:25) For instance, some time ago I listed to a lecture by the Metropolitan Kallistos Ware on the subject of salvation. If the Metropolitan meant what he said in so far as he said it - he and I agree. He didn't mention any soteriological effect of Sacraments in that lecture.

Thus I deduce there probably are some areas where fellowship is possible between Christians of different subscriptions while other things remain in contention. Certainly a little mutual respect might go a long way too. But I would be the last to suggest unity be compelled at the expense of legitimate scruples of conscience.

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